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Bebop Spoken There

Charlie Musselwhite: "I used to see these posters in the windows of the [Chicago] blues clubs advertising Elmore James and Muddy Waters which knocked me out. I was making a note of the addresses and at night I'd go back and listen to the blues until 4-5 in the morning." - (Blues Matters! Aug/Sep 2021)

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13,530 (and counting) posts since we started blogging 13 years ago. 948 of them this year alone and, so far, 112 this month (July 31).

Saturday, October 25, 2014

CD Review: No Fast Food – In Concert

Phil Haynes (drums), David Liebman (tenor & soprano saxophones, flute) & Drew Gress (double bass).
(Review by Russell).
In a long career drummer Phil Haynes has worked with many of the leading lights in contemporary jazz including Anthony Braxton, Don Byron and Paul Smoker. He has recently released a recording of his trio No Fast Food featuring Dave Liebman (reeds) and Drew Gress (double bass) captured in stunning form on location in Rochester, NY State and Milheim, Pennsylvania.
The CD In Concert documents the trio’s engagements during the summer of 2012. The compositions (thirteen across two discs) are by Haynes, as is the exemplary production. The bandleader refers to the ‘individual clarity’ and ‘equality of ensemble counterpoint’ achieved in the trio format and it is the participation of Liebman and Gress that ensures the music is of the highest quality. The trio format leaves no hiding place and none hide. Gress leads on the opening Dawn on the Gladys Marie, Haynes and Liebman waiting in the wings. Throughout the recording the musicians listen, converse, empathise and, from time to time, engage in volcanic argument finally agreeing a resolution.
The robust West Virginian Blues hears Liebman on tenor and on Together (No Fast Food defined) he switches to soprano with equal facility. On ZenLieb (the opening track of the second disc) Liebman plays a wooden flute. The title says it all and the audience response is one of appreciation of his mastery. From Zen Lieb to agitated Lieb as Liebman burns it up on tenor on Out of the Bowels. More of the same (gloriously so) on Workin’ It a none-stop, vigourous, swinging blow-out.                                          
Blues for Israel focuses on Liebman’s plaintive soprano saxophone (political perspective unspoken) followed by a brief Incantation. Taut group interplay is maintained throughout nine minutes plus on Chant, scarcely rising above a whisper, revealing Gress’ mastery of acoustic double bass playing. Encore du jour (from the Elk Creek Café & Ale Works, PA session) encapsulates all that is best about the CD and is an apposite ‘encore’. A word about the recording; Jon Rosenberg recorded, edited, mixed and mastered the CDs and in so doing captured the essence of the ‘live’ gig without compromising on quality of sound.    
In Concert by No Fast Food is available on CornerStoreJazz (CSJ 0107-0108). 
Russell.                

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